For those of you who aren't chilli fiends – and don't really like that trademark burn that leaves your forehead damp and your mouth on fire – butter chicken is the one for you. Also known as murgh makhani, it's the ultimate combination of rich, creamy flavour and spice.
The mellower flavour makes it perfect for those who want to actually taste the flavour of a curry, rather than simply the heat of its spices. Places like Bollywood Indian Restaurant, Motimahal and Indian Express offer up butter chicken dishes that caress your palate with hints of classic Indian flavours – fenugreek, coriander, garam masala and cinnamon.
The marinade is key to butter chicken's success – stewing in a combination of cream, yoghurt and spice. The cream and yoghurt give a richness that doesn't overpower your senses, while the spice infuses the meat with flavour. You'll find garam masala dancing along with coriander, cumin, turmeric, lime and pepper.
The meaty star of the show is then seared to lock all those flavours in, and traditionally shifted over to a clay tandoor oven – but nowadays you'll find your chicken pan-fried or grilled too. It's then bundled in with a mild sauce that includes the eponymous ingredient – butter.
Butter Chicken has its roots deep in Punjabi cuisine, which is where the use of the clay tandoor oven comes into things. But after the Partition of India in 1947, those leaving the Punjab took their tandoors with them, and tandoor oven magic spread right across the subcontinent.
However, it wasn't until Kundan Lal Gujral – an important chap in the modernisation of Indian cuisine and inventor of tandoori chicken – combined tandoor chicken with Punjabi cuisine's signature buttery sauce that the dish we know and love today was made.
The dish remains popular today, and we love it here in the Netherlands. With places like Indian Express, Motimahal and Bollywood Indian Restaurant serving it up, who can blame us?
If you're looking for something traditional, Motimahal serve up theirs up as they have done for years. Indian Express' sauce contains extra cream, to give it an even smoother texture that complements the mild nature of the dish perfectly.
The Bollywood Indian Restaurant' butter chicken has joyous hints of coriander and cashew, for a fragrant and sweetly nutty taste. It's perfect for those seeking a curry that offers more than just heat.
If you're after a curry you can taste and not just feel, order butter chicken from Deliveroo today.
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